Published November 12, 2020

FOUR of the six National Merit Scholarship Commended Students at NRHS (front row, from left): Shea Hanson, Anna Balin, Margaret Regan and Leyla Rzakhanov, recently received their Letters of Commendation from Principal Anthony Loprete and NRHS Guidance Counselor Ann Tiberii (back row) for their academic achievement. See more photos inside. (Courtesy Photo)

NORTH READING — Six members of the Class of 2021 at North Reading High School have been named Commended Students in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship program.

They are Anna Balin, Shea Hanson, Margaret Regan, Leyla Rzakhanov, Alec Semaan and Justin Wildman. A Letter of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, was presented to these bright and talented seniors by Principal Anthony Loprete.

COMMENDED senior Justin Wildman receives his National Merit Scholarship Program certificate from NRHS Principal Anthony Loprete. (Courtesy Photo)

The NMSC is a non-profit organization that operates without government assistance and was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship program.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are recognized each year for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2021 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2021 competition by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

ALEC SEMAAN (right), a senior at NRHS, was recognized as a National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Student. Principal Anthony Loprete presented his certificate. (Courtesy Photo)

“Those being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success. These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation,” commented a spokesperson for the NMSC. “We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

Among some notable National Merit Scholars during the past 65 years have been: Ben Bernanke (’71), Bill Gates, Jim Cramer and John Roberts (’73), Elena Kagan (’77), Jeff Bezos and Susan Rice (’82), and Ted Cruz (’88).